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Social Interaction and Social Structure

Groups and Organizations

Deviance and Social Control

Stratification in the United States and Worldwide

Racial and Ethnic Inequality

Stratification by Gender and Age

The Family

Religion and Education

Government and the Economy

Population and Health

Population and the Environment


Social Movements

Social Change Technology

V. Deviance and Social Control

Deviance and conformity are forms of response individuals and groups make to real or imagined pressures.  Norms and laws are key elements of social control used to maintain order and conformity. Groups, such as homosexuals, are often inappropriately labeled as "deviant" when their behavior is not at all abnormal. Likewise, as the recent cases of police corruption and brutality in New York City and Los Angeles illustrate, deviant behavior by authority figures often goes unnoticed or is ignored by society. The Web sites below were selected to provide more insight into interpretation of crime, sexual behavior, obedience, and authority.

Organized Crime, by Regina Schekall

This valuable online tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about crime statistics!! It helps you understand the basics about crime rates, as well as the challenges associated with interpreting them. The site offers links to many repositories of information at local, national, and international agencies and institutions dealing with crime and criminals. 

Sociology of Deviant Behavior Lecture Notes

Professor Robert Keel's lecture notes on deviant behavior present to-the-point annotations of each topic in the field. Theories of deviance are presented in a social context, and a balanced discussion of sexual deviance is also provided.

Sociosite: Sex, Gender, and Queer Studies

An inclusive set of meta-links to resources related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender studies. Links to the topics of cybersex and sexuality in general are also provided, along with links to general issues concerning men, women, children, and families.

Stanley Milgram

A brief biography and overview of the theories advanced by this important theorist is provided at this site.

People with a History: Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and TransHistory

An annotated online text on the world history of homosexuality, organized culturally and chronologically. The site, maintained by Paul Halsall, contains an annotated chapter by chapter discussion, along with links to other sites and online articles. Additionally, this excellent site includes an outstanding online bibliography.

The Center for Sex Research

The Center for Sex Research is composed of faculty, staff, and professional educators, researchers, and therapists with an interest and background in the field of sexuality.  The CSR is dedicated to the concept that knowledge provides freedom from ignorance. Located at CSU Northridge, the center provides a program in sexuality, as well as seminars and conferences on topics of interest, research, and publications.

The Kinsey Institute

The Kinsey Institute supports interdisciplinary research and the study of human sexuality. The institute was founded by Dr. Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956) in 1947. Today it offers graduate studies and clinics, and also continues to conduct research projects.

The Society for Human Sexuality

A Web site devoted to sexual awareness and alternative sexuality. Links to resources on tantric yoga, BDSM, and erotica can be found here.  You can also find links to clubs and other organizations that support interests in alternative sexuality and sexual activities. A must see.

Cecil Greek's Criminal Justice Links

One of the most popular and comprehensive set of links on the Web for criminal justice related topics. You can navigate access to links on investigative, legal, and correctional aspects of criminal justice through a "criminal justice process chart." The site also provides access to themes peripheral to the criminal justice system itself, such as theory, the media, and criminal justice ethics/education.

FBI Uniform Crime Reports

The UCR Web sites is one of the most effective and reputable electronic depositories of crime statistics in the world. Information from agencies responsible for monitoring crime at the local, state, and national levels is compiled into UCRs, covering many types of incidents, which can be accessed at this site. Additionally, the site includes the annual Crime in the United States Report. Links to the FBI's Most Wanted list and other resources are also provided.

United Nations Crime and Justice Information Center

The UNCJIC is a project of the U.N. Center for International Crime Prevention. It is an electronic clearinghouse for reports and statistical studies on crime commissioned by the United Nations or conducted by U.N. agencies. It is also a resource center for statistics compiled by national agencies, such as the FBI, throughout the world. A good starting point into learning more about transnational organized crime, drug smuggling, prison conditions worldwide, and many other issues.

Urban Ethnography of Latino Street Gangs

The site originally focused on Latino street gangs in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. It has expanded to include studies of street gangs in Albuquerque and Phoenix. The goal of this site is to find solutions, to share an ever expanding body of data and literature on Latino street gangs, and to locate successful strategies for prevention and intervention with at-risk youths.


This is another site focusing on Los Angeles street gangs. It also includes information on the LAPD corruption scandal that involves police in the street gang task force, as well as links to prisons and prison gangs. A database on gang-related articles and a comprehensive gallery on gang graffiti are also included.

Internet Sociology: Police Corruption

Use the Web sites below to answer the following questions.

Stanford Prison Experiment Web Site

Los Angeles Police Corruption Scandal

Los Angeles Times: The Rampart Scandal

CNN Site

  1. What specific allegations of corruption are facing the LAPD?
  2. How would you classify these allegations, using theories of deviant behavior from your textbook?
  3. How do the allegations compare with the kinds of activities conducted by street gangs?
  4. What kinds of similarities can you draw between the behavior of authorities accused of wrongdoing and the behavior of authority figures in the Stanford Prison Experiment

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